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Written by Mae Bristow - 13 March 2024

The best Hoxton bars

Situated to the north of Shoreditch (and often confused with it too), Hoxton is home to some of Hackney’s most renowned nightlife venues. A district with a centuries-long history boasting a strong sense of community and culture, there’s much to enjoy here, particularly as it resists much of the corporate encroachment seen by its southern neighbours.

With cutting-edge galleries, iconic street art, trendy event spaces, night clubs and historic spots like the eponymous Street Market and Square, it’s the creative hub of the East End. So if you’re looking for a bit of hedonism, our picks give a flavour of some of the very best bars in Hoxton.

We've heroically taken it upon ourselves to delve headfirst into a bewildering series of Hoxton nights out, throwing back pinta after cocktail after shot. Exhausted, hungover and with an intricate knowledge of Hoxton's best bars, we bring this breakdown to you. You're welcome.

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interior of the lion and lamb in hoxton london
jack installation at the lion and lamb in hoxton london

1. Mad for the music: The Lion & Lamb

Hoxton, London

Buried in the backstreets of Hoxton is 100-year-old heritage pub, The Lion & Lamb. As far as Hoxton bars go, it looks like it has seen better days, but come night time it turns into an intimate music venue with world-class DJ sets. It’s a top spot for local artists, electronic music enthusiasts, and audiophiles thanks to their top-notch Martin Audio sound system.

Dance to everything from Deep House and Disco to Techno and beyond beneath an artful installation of jack plugs hanging from the ceiling. The Lion & Lamb is certainly an unusual venue for world-class DJs to spin their collections, but it’s all about the music and that’s all that matters.

through the looking glass cocktail club hoxton bar london
through the looking glass cocktail club hoxton bar london

2. Secret bars & signature cocktails: Looking Glass Cocktail Club

Hoxton, London

Just off Hackney Road in Hoxton, Looking Glass Cocktail Clubs calls to discerning drinkers of potions and tinctures and lures them in with promises of a secret bar through a looking glass and sweet DJ sets.

The Looking Glass Cocktail Club is comprised of Le Boudoir, the cosy cocktail lounge, and the dimly lit (secret, wink wink nudge nudge) Room Through the Looking Glass. Mid-week, relax in Le Boudoir with a couple of cocktails, and enjoy DJ sets at the weekend.

As for Through the Looking Glass, the place becomes more decadent as the hours while away, until it's a den of dancing and partying and one too many signature cocktails.

bar at happiness forgets in hoxton london
cocktail at happiness forgets in hoxton london

3. High end cocktails in a low rent basement: Happiness Forgets

Hoxton, London

Feeling experimental? Try Happiness Forgets, a no-nonsense underground bar in Hoxton Square that prioritises their drinks over neon signs with cringe quotes. They’ve mastered classic cocktails as well as the art of collaboration – they regularly feature guest mixologists who will create a special cocktail of the night.

The basement cocktail bar keeps it minimalist with simple bar seating, booth seating, and tables topped by candles – like we said, no-nonsense, just an absolute focus on bangin’ cocktails.

Their drinks menu is ever changing, but the calibre of bartenders is such they will probably be able to recreate that amazing drink you had three months ago and raved about to your friends – they know their business.

cocktail at the macbeth pub in hoxton london
stage at the macbeth pub in hoxton london

4. A flash from the past: The Macbeth

Hoxton, London

Grab drinks in a pub where the likes of Charles Dickens used to grace the bar. The Macbeth pub has deep roots in the area stretching all the way back to the 1840s – it survived both World Wars and the typhoid epidemic to become a dive-y Hoxton bar favoured by bands and artists today.

Sip one of their historically named cocktails as you admire faux Neoclassical paintings so dramatic in their depictions Shakespeare would roll his eyes. We recommend the Magna Carta made with Havana 7, honey-saffron water and orange bitters, or delight your pals by ordering a round of Plague Water for the table. While a cocktail wasn’t what King John expected when he wrote the Magna Carta in the 13th century, we respect the Macbeth's love for history (and booze).

Queen of Hoxton
Queen of Hoxton East London roofotp bar 1

5. Party the night away on Hoxton's multi-floor bar: Queen of Hoxton

Hoxton, London

There’s no other bar quite like the Queen of Hoxton - fantastically located in the heart of Shoreditch, whether you’re getting a drink after work, going all night in the club or kicking off your weekend in style with a bottomless drag brunch, they have what you need.

With DJs, live acts, a killer cocktail menu and big party vibes - a night with the Queen is always a big, and sometimes messy, one. There’s even a rooftop terrace with iconic views (open all year round and heated in winter) and they offer private hire on a range of spaces, from 50-500 guests.

Old Street records hoxton bar
Old Street records hoxton bar

6. Record store vibes and regular live acts make Old Street Records a music lover’s dream

Hoxton, London

The Shoreditch gem of the “Records” bar group - Old Street Records boasts two floors and the best location as one of Hoxton’s hottest bars. Live music every night brings a bustling crowd and buzzing atmosphere. This is one for people who like big nights out, so probably avoid taking a date.

Go straight from work for happy hour cocktails, grab a delicious pizza to keep you going (eating’s not cheating) then dance the night away while discovering your new favourite bands.

Try the Sour Records cocktail for a unique twist on a beloved classic, or for a special occasion pre-order a prosecco, beer and pizza package. You can even hire out the basement for a private party.

breakfast club hoxton bar
breakfast club hoxton bar

7. Cool and casual, The Breakfast Club in Hoxton is the place for all day dining and drinking

Hoxton, London

Walking into The Breakfast Club is like doing an instant hop back in time into their quirky retro bar vibes. Think old-school Americana, complete with booths, a chequered floor, milkshakes and pancake stacks to die for.

Whether you’re after brunch, lunch, dinner, or some evening socialising - The Breakfast Club has you and your friends covered with their fantastic range of food and drinks (including some ace cocktails). Don’t miss the bathrooms to check out their nostalgia-filled wallpaper, and you can even go home with branded merch as a souvenir.

8. Delicious Filipino food and a secret tiki bar make Rapsa @ 100 Hoxton a must visit

Hoxton, London

With its industrial chic and elaborate octopus motif on the window, you can’t help but notice Rapsa @ 100 Hoxton. Well known for its Filipino Fusion menu, they offer food throughout the day and one of the best weekend bottomless brunches that Hoxton has to offer.

Head through the secret bookcase to the jungle of Sugarlandia, their party room and tiki bar, and sample the best Pinoy cocktails on this side of the Pacific. The last Sunday of the month brings their unique Boodle Fight - a new hands-on style of dining all about sharing and eating together with friends and family.

Rapsa is available for private hire for 25-100 guests.

Howl at the moon hoxton bar
Howl at the moon hoxton bar

9. Grab a pint away from the crowds at neighbourhood gem Howl At The Moon

Hoxton, Shoreditch

Located on Hoxton Street, Howl At The Moon is more of a friendly pub than a wild party bar - pop in for a pint and their wide selection of beers will almost certainly convince you to stay for a few more.

The vibe is buzzy without being overwhelming, dogs are welcome and they do a mean taco if you find you need a snack with your booze. They have outdoor tables, and in summer the park next door turns into an excellent beer garden. With regular sports screenings, music nights, pub quizzes and tap takeovers - there truly is something for everyone at this local hotspot.

red lion pub in hoxton london
red lion pub in hoxton london

10. The Hoxton bar with a games room: The Red Lion

Hoxton, London

A classic boozer heralding from a bygone era, this tucked-away pub has been serving Hoxton locals and wanderers alike for decades.

A deceptively large pub crowned with that most elusive of city spaces - a roof terrace! - its multiple floors include a games room with pool and football tables and a SNES video game console. And whether you’re looking to secure a table or an entire floor, you can book ahead to make that private function or date night extra special.

On arrival, you’ll find a small but well-curated beer selection along with a host of other reasonably priced drinks. And if you plan to stay a while - you really should! - you’d be remiss to ignore the indulgent burgers and sides from guest menu providers Bang Bang Burger Co, with the Bangkok Chicken burger, in particular, being a favourite of ours.

hoxton 7 bar
hoxton 7 bar

11. The Clubgoers’ Pitstop: The Hoxton Seven

Hoxton, London

Stroll down Great Eastern Street any night of the week and you can’t miss The Hoxton Seven. This popular, offbeat cocktail bar boasts a prime position on the Hoxton Triangle, and with a seven-day licence, street-side seating and bookable booths inside, they’re ever ready to show you a good time.

A colourful and open bar awaits, with friendly staff and plenty of tables to accommodate you and your mates. If you’re in the mood for something more hedonistic, venture downstairs to the basement speakeasy, where edgy decor and an even edgier soundtrack from the in-house DJs will keep you entertained all night, or until it’s time to hit the club if you prefer. (Hot tip: ask at the bar; your drinks order might just grant you a queue-jump to nearby club Cargo).

Both floors are available for individual or whole-venue hire, each with up to a 150-person standing capacity on a minimum spend basis.

Nikkis bar hoxton 1.
Nikkis bar hoxton 2

12. The Night of Your Life: Nikki’s Bar

In a city where ‘cool bar’ is too often mistranslated to mean exposed bricks and filament bulb lighting, Nikki’s on Hoxton Square is a neon oasis. Prepare to be gently stunned by the 70s disco-esque self-illuminated ceiling, a honey-streaked sunset in which to bask, with a retro playlist to match.

Apparently simultaneously inspired by the works of Quentin Tarantino and trashy reality TV, there’s even a king-sized (PVC) bed on which you are encouraged to pose for photos and the utter bafflement of your friends and followers.

With regular Y2K-themed Drag Brunches and a roster of seasonal events, And if you want the ‘ultimate party girl’ party - and let’s be honest, we absolutely do - Nikki’s is fully bookable with an impressive array of entertainment packages, activities and add-ons.

colours hoxton bar
colours hoxton bar 3

13. The Queer Haven: Colours Hoxton

Hoxton, London

Yet another gem on Hoxton Square, a site that has purportedly hosted live music and entertainment for centuries, Colours is an inclusive, LGBTQ+ arts and performance space with a bar and kitchen to boot.

Step off the square, through Colours’ drinks terrace into a spacious multi-level bar, where 5 nights a week you can sample an impressive drinks roster - from killer cocktails through guest beers, speciality gins and wines - and a rotating food menu currently boasting indulgent pizzas (with optional vegan substitutes across the board).

With regular drag disco nights - larger-than-life DJs dropping iconic bops - and weekend bottomless brunches, the main bar alone has plenty to offer. But this serpentine space doesn’t end there. With a state-of-the-art live room hosting queer musicians, artists and weekly club nights; a dedicated chillout bar and private terrace; and even a purpose-built Karaoke room, you’ll never want to leave.

With every room available to hire in isolation or as a whole, you can inject some colour into your next event.

interior of the george and vulture pub in hoxton london
interior of the george and vulture pub in hoxton london

14. A pub above the rest: The George & Vulture

Hoxton, London

If you’re into record-setting pubs, look no further than the George & Vulture, the tallest pub in London since 1870. Their other claim to fame is combining lovingly-made sourdough pizza and craft beer for the perfect meal.

Sit by the wood-burning fireplace while you tuck into the Jon Bon Chovy pizza and wash it down with a craft beer – or spritz or cocktail, go wild, we won’t tell. We like their Monday 2-4-1 pizza deal and Tuesday quiz nights. It’s a Hoxton bar with great food, great booze, and entertainment. What more could you ask for?

More of the best bars in Hoxton

Thinking of hiring a bar for your next event? Great idea. Hoxton is known for its amazing bars. From busy tiki bars and cocktail bars with world-class mixologists to quiet and cosy garden bars, we've got every type of bar in Hoxton for you to browse and book. Why not take the team for a corporate day out at an activity bar or have a birthday bash at your own exclusive bar? Have a look at these top Hoxton bar venues and get some ideas for where to have your next event. Alternatively, tell us exactly what you need and we'll make sure the very best Hoxton venues respond to your enquiry.

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Guide to hiring bars in Hoxton

Hoxton, an area nestled in the heart of London's East End, has evolved into a vibrant hub of art, culture, and entertainment. This trendy district is teeming with bars and pubs that cater to a diverse range of preferences, making it an ideal location for hosting events, parties, or gatherings. Whether you're planning a corporate event, a birthday celebration, or a casual get-together, this guide will help you navigate the process of hiring bars in Hoxton.

Define Your Event

Before you start searching for the perfect bar in Hoxton, you need to have a clear understanding of your event's purpose, size, and style. Are you organizing a formal corporate event, a lively birthday party, or a relaxed evening with friends? Knowing the nature of your event will help you choose the most suitable bar that aligns with your objectives.

Budget Considerations

Budgeting is a crucial aspect of planning any event. Establish a clear budget for your event and allocate a portion of it for the bar hire. Keep in mind that the cost can vary significantly depending on the venue, services, and the date of your event. Hoxton offers options to fit a range of budgets, from affordable neighbourhood pubs to upscale cocktail lounges.

Research and Explore

Hoxton boasts a wide array of bars, each with its unique ambience and offerings. Research the available options to identify the ones that align with your event's theme. Whether you're looking for a rustic pub, a trendy cocktail bar, or a spacious event venue, Hoxton has something for everyone.

Capacity and Space

Consider the number of guests you expect to attend and ensure the selected bar can accommodate your group comfortably. Some bars in Hoxton may offer private rooms or exclusive areas for events, which can be an excellent option if you need more privacy.

Services and Amenities

Different bars in Hoxton offer various services and amenities. If you need catering, entertainment, or specific drink options, make sure to inquire about these details in advance. Some bars may provide special packages that include food and drink options.


Location and accessibility are essential factors to consider. Ensure that the bar is easy to reach for your guests, whether it's via public transport or parking facilities. Hoxton's central location makes it convenient for most attendees.

Licensing and Restrictions

Be aware of licensing regulations and any restrictions imposed by the bar or the local authorities. These may affect the hours of operation, noise levels, and alcohol service. Make sure your event complies with all legal requirements.

Online Platforms:

There are an endless amount of websites that will provide you with a rundown of the best cocktail bars in Hoxton. It can often feel overwhelming to search through these sites. That’s why at HeadBox we work with the best venues and will circulate your event details directly to them. You’ll hear back from trusted venues that have availability and cater to your event. If only it was always this easy.

Reviews and Recommendations

Before finalising your choice, read reviews and seek recommendations from others who have hosted events in Hoxton bars. This can provide valuable insights into the quality of service, atmosphere, and overall experience.

Booking and Contracts

Once you've found the ideal bar in Hoxton, discuss the booking process and sign a contract that outlines all the details of your event. Ensure that everything is agreed upon in writing, including the date, time, cost, and any additional services.

Hiring a bar in Hoxton can be an exciting and rewarding experience, given the rich variety of options available. By following this guide and conducting thorough research, you can select the perfect venue that suits your event's needs, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable experience for you and your guests. Hoxton's dynamic atmosphere, coupled with its diverse array of bars, is sure to make your event a success.

Frequently asked questions

Licensing and noise regulations can vary, so it's essential to discuss this with the bar management. Be aware of any local restrictions and ensure your event complies with them.

The contract should outline all event details, including the date, time, cost, services, and any additional arrangements. It should also specify cancellation and refund policies.

There are lots of ways to book a Hoxton bar. Booking out a bar in Hoxton is easy with HeadBox. All you have to do is tell us what you're looking for, we'll share your enquiry with suitable bars in Hoxton and you'll get messages from venues & match with your favourites. Easy.

Bar capacities vary, but many in Hoxton can accommodate both small and large groups. Some bars offer private rooms or exclusive areas for events.

There really is no one answer to this question: so many variables come into play when understanding the cost of exclusive hire of a bar or a private space in a bar. How many guests are you planning for? Is the venue for the day, an afternoon, or the night? The good news is that you can find a venue for pretty much any budget (okay, almost any budget). Instead of letting the venue dictate the price, our advice is to be proactive and set a budget that you feel comfortable with – this way the right venues can reach out to you through HeadBox.

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